Archives : Dec-2014



Dear Friends,

Help us make Newport a truly Bike Friendly Community, a city where it’s so safe, convenient and inviting for anyone to walk or bike, that we ultimately reduce the number of cars and busses on our overcrowded, overburdened streets by hundreds or even thousands per day. That’s where we’re heading … together.

For all its beauty and history, for its small size, the City by the Sea is meant to be walked and bicycled. With your help, we can make that happen. One bike rack, one bike lane, one road safety class at a time.

Right now, we have the chance to double the value of your support for a Bike Friendly Newport. Please help us meet the amazing $25,000 matching challenge issued by a generous supporter.

Local youth tooling around at Bike Garage North

Three Easy Ways to Give:

* 1. Send a check, payable to: SVPRI for Bike Newport to:

Bike Newport
437 Broadway
Newport, RI 02840

* 2. Donate via Razoo: visit our campaign page.

3. Use PayPal:

Log onto PayPal, choose “send” and enter the email “” for the recipient.

* These donations, made through our 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor, SVPRI, are tax deductible charitable contributions.

WE ALREADY SEE the future Bike Friendly Newport. Just look around the city. Thanks to you and other supporters of bicycle culture, our fledgling organization has made a great impact in just three short years. Newport even earned the Bronze designation as a Bike Friendly Community from the League of American Bicyclists, thanks to our close partnership with the City.

Newly striped bike lanes on Memorial Boulevard. Work underway on America’s Cup. Lighted helmets and reflective vests for bike-reliant commuters. Dozens of children riding their first bikes – bikes they repaired with their own hands. From safer road-sharing to improved bike-friendly streets, from more bike parking to more people biking, Newport can see and feel the results of our hard work.

But, we’ve still got a ways to go.

Bike Love: Help Us Make it Grow

We’ve got big plans to make Newport a lot more Bike Friendly in 2015. But we need your help to reach thousands of riders and motorists with safe road-sharing information, and to put hundreds of new cyclists of all ages safely in the saddle.

You can help us to spread the Bike Love that will transform Newport into the Bike Friendly Community it is meant to be.

And if you give now, we can double your love!

Thanks to our matching gift challenge, every dollar contributed between now and January 31, up to a total of $25,000, will be matched dollar for dollar by a generous donor.

Read our full 2014 Letter to Friends and 2014 By the Numbers. Click here to send us your snail mail if you haven’t already.

Want to know more about Bike Newport? We’re just a visit away from sharing much more with you. Just let us know – with a call to (401) 619-4900 or an email to any of us. We’ll be happy to share what we do, what we plan, and how you can help make it happen.

Thank you for being part of Bike Newport. And thank you in advance for helping us to continue our work. Our supporters and partners are the wind behind our wheels.

Yours sincerely,

The Bike Newport Team:

Bari Freeman, Executive Director

Mark Chesterton, Director of Education

Liza Burkin, Program Manager

Board of Directors:

Deanna Conheeny, President

Allison McNally, Vice President

Dawn Euer, Treasurer

Laura Murphy, Secretary

Sarah Whitehouse Atkins

Peter Harty

Don Jagoe

Renee Kaminitz

Jim Ryan

The post It’s a Match – Double Your Donation! appeared first on Bike Newport.



  You are invited to take part in the next monthly RIBike meeting Monday, December 8th from 6-8 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Flatbread Company near Brown University and is open to all. Once again, this willRead More



Photo (l-r): Hank Myers, manager; Ray Simas, driver; Bob Elliott, driver; Melissa Wicks, safety coordinator; Bari Freeman, Bike Newport; Harvey Chapman, driver; Paul Nobile, driver; Butch Malarchik, driver; Cindy Boiani, driver.

“We want to be part of the solution.”

– Hank Myers, Manager, First Student, Newport

School busses have unique safety challenges – requiring the utmost attention to the road, the vehicle, and their precious cargo. With an average 35’ length – there are visibility and blind spot challenges at every moment of the drive. Stopping, starting, standing, passing, and turning, our bus drivers need to be aware of what is happening inside and outside their bus. Safety is the most important aspect of school bus driving, and our drivers take it seriously.

Newport has unique challenges as well – narrow winding streets in historic neighborhoods, distracted vacation drivers on unfamiliar roads, cyclists riding the wrong way or inadequately illuminated. Not so unique are the phone-fixated and/or impatient motorists putting everyone at risk. With three pedestrian deaths in the past year, we have a wake up call to take more action to improve safety on our roads.

When Bike Newport suggested a conversation about road sharing with the district’s bus drivers, Hank Myers was keen to get started. The local manager of First Student, Newport’s school bus company, Hank manages 16 bus drivers who service the district’s three schools. “Great idea,” said Hank. “Let’s do it.” Let’s be a partner in the effort to improve safety on our roads.

Fresh off the Monday morning run, we gathered at the First Student bus depot on Halsey Street. We discussed rules of the road, bicyclist rights and responsibilities, and bicycle-related ordinances. We reviewed bike lanes, shared lanes, and state passing laws. We shared horror stories and agreed that there are good and bad cyclists and good and bad motorists.

Together we considered the value of bicycling in a town as small and scenic as Newport, where local travel is mostly under two miles – easily walkable and bikeable. We acknowledged that bicycling inherently reduces traffic congestion and improves health, economy, quality of life, and quality of place.

We agreed on a few first steps together. We’ve already begun to share information – documentation of road rules and recommendations, and helpful videos on road sharing safety. We’ll ask the local media to assist by printing daily or weekly reminders to cyclists, motorists, and pedestrians about safe road behaviors. Together we’ll develop joint messages – like today’s message to bicyclists about the importance of correct bike behaviors near school busses. Here it is:

According to state and local laws, bicycles are vehicles and must abide by all vehicular traffic laws. Therefore:

Bicyclists: When you see a stopped school bus with safety lights on, you are required to stop before reaching the vehicle and remain standing until the bus lights are no longer operating. Also, please do not ever pass a school bus on the right side. When children are entering and exiting the bus, everyone is put at risk.

If following the law isn’t enough, consider this added incentive, as conveyed by our friends at Bike Portland in Oregon: “While you sit out the delay, it may give you time to wonder about the intent of the school bus law. After all it’s meant to keep children safe as they cross the street or congregate around the bus. Despite the personal inconvenience of waiting, the letter of the law may be important here because as a living, breathing distraction in the landscape, you are probably being observed by some of the kids on the bus. These are the future cyclists of America and you, standing by, are serving as a role model. It isn’t often you are given the opportunity to do the right thing so easily and impress a very impressionable audience at the same time. Maybe it’s worth a couple minutes of standing still.” We, at Bike Newport and First Student, agree. Safety is always worth the time.

Throughout our meeting, there was a stoic gentleman at the back of the room who refused to crack a smile, no matter my eye-to-eye attention and attempted wit. He was one tough customer. But at the end of our session, he came forward, took off his glasses and delivered a bigger smile than I’d hoped for. It seems we are all indeed in this together. Thanks to Harvey, Hank Myers, and all the First Student bus drivers for being part of the solution.

Let’s get out there and be role models. Safety first.

The post PS The Kids Are Watching appeared first on Bike Newport.



From late October to Thanksgiving break, we worked with Thompson Middle School to promote and inspire more biking and walking to school. Through daily encouragement and weekly raffles, over 25% of the student body participated. On Tuesday, Nov 25th, three grand prize winners were drawn from among the students who biked or walked the most during the challenge. Clockwise from top right: 5th grader Nathaniel Thompson received a $250 gift card to Ten Speed Spokes; Kaylon Samuels received a a $250 gift certificate to Newport Bicycle; and 8th grader Graeme Clougher, pictured with our own Director of Education Mark Chesterton, received a $250 gift card to Pedal Power in Middletown. The Bike and Walk to School Challenge was funded by a generous grant from the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. Celebrate kids moving in the morning!

The post Thompson Middle School Bike/Walk Challenge Wraps Up With Grand Prizes! appeared first on Bike Newport.



^ People’s Credit Union sponsored their first bike hitch in 2011, and their second in the new Queen Anne Square. Shown at the new bike hitch are (l-r) Don Jagoe, cyclist and bike hitch sponsor; Scott Wheeler, City of Newport Building and Grounds Supervisor / Tree Warden; Bari Freeman, Executive Director at Bike Newport; and Marie Everett, Newport Branch Manager, People’s Credit Union. (photo courtesy People’s Credit Union)

As more people opt to pop out of the car and into the bike saddle, the search for bike parking in Newport is on. There are only so many signposts that can double as a bike hitch. Bike Newport and the City’s Department of Public Services are looking for ways to increase bike parking options. In the process, the commitment is to install racks that respect the bikes, the cyclists and the properties. No more wobbly school racks. New racks will meet the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) Bicycle Parking Guidelines – providing two points of contact for any bike to hold it stable. Bike parking will be a combination of bike hitches that generally hold 1-2 bicycles, and higher capacity racks, that hold upwards of six bicycles.

The City has already installed new racks at Scotts Wharf, Storer Park, Queen Anne Square, and the Cliff Walk Trail Head at Forty Steps. New racks are in place at Pell School and on order for Thompson Middle School as part of the Safe Routes to School programs. Plans are underway for racks in the new Broadway Streetscape.

Studies are proving that bikes are good for business – cycling consumers are loyal customers – returning most often and spending the most money, according to a 2009 study in Toronto, ON. Recent research out of Portland, OR, shows that cycling customers spent more money per person than their car-driving counterparts at bars, restaurants and convenience stores.

That’s good news for local business – and the key to a new opportunity for bike friendly and community conscious businesses and individuals to get on board. Fifteen business-sponsored bike hitches were installed around the city in 2012, and now a new wave of hitches is gaining steam. Zipcar will sponsor four hitches, decked out in Zipcar green, near the Lower Thames Zipcar location. “Many Zipcar members are also avid bicyclists,” remarked Chris Moulding, Zipcar’s manager in Providence. “With these sponsored bike racks in Newport, along with the convenience of Zipcar, members will have easy access to more sustainable transportation options when they need them.”

(l-r) City of Newport rack in Queen Anne’s Square, hitches at Cliff Walk entrance at Forty Steps, People’s Credit Union sponsored rack in Queen Anne’s Square

Of four bike hitches installed at Queen Anne Square, two are sponsored, one by People’s Credit Union, and one by Brian Hennessey – former People’s CFO and former Board Member at Bike Newport. Hennessey made the rack a parting gift when he relocated to San Jose, California. “People’s sees the racks as direct community service, and as a way of demonstrating support of our cycling clients. It’s a program we are all thrilled to get behind,” explained Marie Everett, People’s Newport Branch Manager.

Bike Newport hopes that as the racks pop up, so will more and sponsors. That’s just what happened with Newport resident and cycling enthusiast, Don Jagoe. Don saw the People’s racks and immediately contacted Bike Newport to sponsor one himself. “The fact that part of the funds support Bike Newport’s programming is icing on the cake,” he shared. “Every time I see our youth engaged in bike mechanics and bike skills training, I’m happy. These programs are opening the world of health, freedom and confidence to our kids at an early age. And I get to request a rack close to my favorite shops. Works for me!”

The sponsored hitches are available at a cost of $500 – with $375 paying for the hitch and sponsorship plaque, and the balance supporting Bike Newport’s bicycle education initiatives in Newport. Higher capacity bike racks can be sponsored as well.

Businesses and individuals interested in sponsoring a bike rack can find more information here – or call (401) 619-4900.

The post Looking for Bike Parking? Sponsor a Rack! appeared first on Bike Newport.



Meet the Giant Cycling Squid of Narragansett Bay!

designed by Steven Sabo

He started off Cranky and making Great Waves, but now he’s patched and lubed and on his way on the Bay!

We’re pulling out all the stops to get these jerseys in time for gift giving. But you’ll have to order by this Thursday, November 13th.

Manufactured by Pactimo Apparel, the jerseys are high-performance, high-quality, and elastic-free. They come in Men’s and Women’s styles, sizes XS, S, M, L, XL, and 2XL. Not sure about size? Come to our office at 437 Broadway from Monday, 11/8, to Thursday, 11/13, to check out the samples. Please call ahead to be sure we’re on site. (401) 619-4900.

Special 2014 prices – Bike Newport members receive 15% off all merchandise.

Short sleeve – Members: $63.75 | Non-members: $75
Long sleeve – Members: $85 | Non-members: $100

Two step order process:

1) Email us your order right away: Include your name and contact information. For each jersey you order, please indicate: male/female; long sleeve or short sleeve; and size (XS to XXL).

2) Make your payment:
– Check: Either BRING or MAIL a check payable to Bike Newport to 437 Broadway, Newport, RI 02840,
Use Paypal: choose “send” and enter “” as recipient

Order and payment must be received by Thursday, 11/13.

If you need to drop your check in person, or to see the sample jerseys for sizing, please call before stopping by the office to be sure we’re on site: (401) 619-4900.

Questions: (401) 619-4900

Happiness is a Giant Cycling Squid! Happiness is a Bike Newport Cycling Jersey!

The post Act fast to get the new Bike Newport Jersey appeared first on Bike Newport.



You are invited to take part in the next monthly RIBike meeting Monday, November 10th from 6-8 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Flatbread Company near Brown University and is open to all. This will be a greatRead More



Get the little ones in your life on a bike! Join us at the Florence Gray Center on Saturday, Nov. 22nd from 3:00-6:00pm to browse our selection of used bikes for kids ages 3-10. Bikes will go to a good home for $10, $20, or $30 each. Happy holidays!

More info below:

The post Holiday Kids’ Bike Sale! appeared first on Bike Newport.



^two bikers sport their “I Biked to School Today!” stickers

Did you know that children who start the day by walking or biking to school are engaged in the physical activity that contributes to a healthier lifestyle, a better outlook, higher self-esteem, improved independence, and, ultimately, better performance in school?

Starting today, October 27th, students at Newport’s Thompson Middle School will have the chance to log their biking and walking days during two Bike and Walk Challenges – one in the fall and one in the spring, both funded by the National Center for Safe Routes to School and managed by Bike Newport.

James Underwood, the program’s official Greeter, will be on hand every morning for the students to check in and claim their raffle tickets.

This morning marked the first day that students who biked or walked were eligible for a range of prizes including gift certificates for apparel, backpacks, walk and bike accessories, cold weather gear, bike locks, and more. Three grand prizes of $250 each will be awarded to the three students who log the most days. Two trophies – a golden helmet and a golden sneaker – will be awarded to the class with the most students participating in the challenge each week.

We can all help by encouraging students to bike and walk to school when possible, and by being extremely aware and cautious as drivers at all times, especially during school arrival and dismissal hours.

Help us grow a new generation of active commuters!

The post Announcing the Thompson Middle School #BikeWalkChallenge! appeared first on Bike Newport.



We hate to say it, but daylight saving’s time is just around the corner. It will get darker a lot earlier, but that’s NO reason to stop cycling and every reason to make sure you’re WELL-LIT! On the weekend of Nov. 1st-2nd, head to Newport Bicycle, Ten Speed Spokes, or Pedal Power Bicycle Shop. to “Fall Back and Light Up!” See and be seen by outfitting your bike and yourself with lights and high-visibility gear/apparel. Head to your local bike shop and take advantage of this great sale!

Please share!

The post Fall Back and Light Up! appeared first on Bike Newport.